The Countering Environmental Corruption Practitioners Forum was launched by WWF, the Basel Institute on Governance, Transparency International, and TRAFFIC on 9 December 2022 – International Anti-Corruption Day.

Our aim is to connect conservationists and anti-corruption actors to jointly address corruption as a driver of environmental degradation, biodiversity loss, and climate change.

The challenge

Environmental degradation and biodiversity loss are deeply linked to climate change and human security. They erode the earth's carbon absorption capacity, destroy vital resources for human survival, and drive conflict. In turn they further aggravate these threats to biodiversity, economies, and societies.

To address this complex challenge, we must understand and effectively respond to the drivers of these losses. Corruption – from petty bribery to political influence – facilitates activities that result in:

  • illegal wildlife trade;
  • illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing;
  • illegal logging and forest destruction; and
  • illegal mining; and
  • other destructive practices that threaten our planet and its people.

At times these activities are transnational and criminal in nature. Corruption also hampers efforts to protect and regenerate nature, justly share the benefits that nature provides, and effectively use funding for climate solutions.

Innovation and interest to counter these trends is emerging, for example through the USAID-funded Targeting Natural Resource Corruption (TNRC) project. But coordinated action among conservation and anti-corruption practitioners does not yet match the scale of this existential threat.

More effort is needed to build capacity, agree priorities, shift norms, and join up to implement collaborative action across these communities.


We focus on strengthening capabilities and advancing programming to prevent and address corruption that:

  • harms the natural environment;
  • undermines effective climate and environment investments; and
  • threatens people who live near and rely on natural resources.

Through the Forum, we seek to:

  • support the exchange of knowledge , experience and evidence to enhance capacities;
  • facilitate open discussion and collaborations among members to enable collective approaches;
  • create spaces for learning and collaboration on specific sub-topics;
  • surface and synthesize learning , experience, and priorities into advocacy and policy-oriented fora.

The Forum bridges the anti-corruption and conservation communities, including funders.

How it works

Our Forum is made up of interested individual members. Individuals may be focal points for their organizations, tapping into the broader capability of their institutions by bringing in others they work with on relevant topics.

  • Virtual plenary sessions take place every quarter.
  • Working groups enable members to engage in more regular and focused discussions on a specific topic or approach, for example, land corruption or financial investigations. Members are welcome to propose new working groups, and where appropriate lead them on behalf of their institutions.
  • Members interact via a dedicated space on Basel LEARN , enabling them to share resources with the community and collaborate on specific activities.
  • Members can also join a private LinkedIn Group to share updates of new resources, events, and opportunities.
  • Email updates are sent to members to inform them of upcoming events and Forum-related news.
  • Organizational needs are supported by a core team made up of representatives from the founding organizations. Two of the representatives serve as part-time coordinators.

The Forum is completely free of charge to join. Members can leave at any time.

Funding and disclaimer

The Countering Environmental Corruption Practitioners Forum is a joint initiative of World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the Basel Institute on Governance, Transparency International and TRAFFIC.

This website and some of its content were made possible in part by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), as well as the United Kingdom's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the Principality of Liechtenstein, and other donors.

The contents of this website are the responsibility of the Basel Institute on Governance, and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID, the United States Government, the United Kingdom Government, the Liechtenstein Government, other donors, or founding organizations.

Frequently asked questions

How is the Practitioners Forum different from other networks and groups?

The Forum provides a practice-oriented complement to platforms like the UNCAC Coalition Working Group on Environmental Crime and Corruption, the Nature Crime Alliance, and the United for Wildlife Task Forces. It is distinct in two important ways:

  • First, we are focused on expanding practice. There are well-established fora dedicated to environmental and anti-corruption policy and advocacy work, but only a handful of projects are working on countering environmental corruption on the ground.
  • Second, our community looks specifically at issues of corruption. While some excellent networks work on environmental crime, corruption has often been "lumped in." A result can be an insufficient focus on the difficult realities where actors involved in or benefiting from corruption are those we partner with to combat environmental crime.

At the same time, we recognize these issues – practice and policy, corruption and environmental crime – are deeply linked. We are working closely to coordinate with relevant platforms and organizations.

What do we mean by anti-corruption?

Anti-corruption is often assumed to involve detection, investigation, and prosecution of corrupt actions. But the "anti-corruption toolbox" includes many more approaches that can help address the negative impact of corruption on environmental outcomes. These include:

  • promoting transparency around resource access and supply chains;
  • protecting and expanding space for community management, civil action, and environmental and human rights defenders;
  • strengthening management of finances for protecting wildlife and other treasured natural resources;
  • building norms of integrity.

What happens to members' data?

Any personal data that you share on signing up (name, email, institution, etc.) is kept strictly confidential in line with data privacy regulations. It is only used to provide email notifications on Forum-related topics.

Details such as members' countries of origin, types of institutions, languages spoken, etc. may be anonymized and analyzed by the core team to improve how the Forum operates and serves its members.

Data that you choose to share with other members during meetings or on the online platforms will not be shared further by the core team. However, due to the large membership it is strongly advised not to give out details that you do not wish to be public.